Did you catch Phelps’ last Olympic race?
His last victory. Last lap. Last warm up. Last medal. Last cool down. Last medal ceremony.
Lasts are potent emotional events that wake us from the ordinary to be present — to fully take life in.
Be it the last time you’ll tuck in your once baby girl, the last time you close the door on the house you’ve called your home, the last time you’ll say, “I love you,” to a parent or the last time you will ever swim an Olympic race or throw a pass in the NFL.
This is a story about what lasts can tell you about your future and how you can unleash their hidden potential for a brighter tomorrow.
I don’t recall an Olympics with as many powerful lasts as Rio. Maybe this is reflective of where I am in my life that I see them so clearly. Maybe you’ve seen it too?
Watching every moment of Phelps’ last race was as interesting for me as it seemed to be for him. Much like Peyton Manning a few months ago, he seemed to be taking in every moment. Savoring it like a man who was about to shed a very part of himself. And equally, a man at peace with the letting go, trusting what is calling him to something more.
While lasts often evoke sadness, the power is in the opening. The next part. Forward. Rather than sad endings lasts are equally new beginnings — a next chapter. A time of renewal.
Big and small lasts increasingly permeate life.
Where once I looked forward to the next 10 lbs to my bench press, I have long accepted I’ve benched my PR.
When my kids were one year old I was eager for two. Now, while I love whom they are becoming, I ache for who they’ve been.
As you can expect the lasts to continue at a torrid pace, perhaps now is the best time to make friends with them and embrace the opportunity they hold.
The Futureless Future
In my work with over 40 men I can tell you that lasts baste in a steady theme of regret. It’s as if with each letting-go-of a man has swallowed a huge bite of regret fueled by a difficult story of missed opportunity and loss.
Make no mistake, there is a reason why men are suffering this way. While each experience is unique, there is a startlingly simple element at the center: The steady dimming of your future amplified by the lack of a vital, powerful future vision.
Contrast a last of youth. Like the relief of the last day of highschool. This last was nothing compared to the excitement of your infinite future.
When you were 18, 22, 24… you were on to conquer the world. You could do anything. Then came the uninvited passing years. And you let the story of regret build until it became real. A central theme in your daily play of life.
The burdens, stresses and victories of the day dull our focus on the future. Hey, our hands are full enough with today — who’s got the space time for tomorrow?
The boy who once dreamed of being an astronaut now longs for enough space to breathe. Where you would once dream about ripped 6-pack abs, your more “humble” self now hopes to lose 7 pounds… Someday. Soon.
Yes, some day.
When your clearest future revolves around lessening the pain of life, it’s hard to find the inspiration for tackling epic achievement. If your lasts tend to linger, bring you down, you may be suffering from…
A Disease of diminishing enthusiasm for the future, an increasing vested focus and energy on the past and a nearly complete lack of a powerful compelling future vision.
The key to leveraging lasts is not to ignore the letting go of, nor to force them into a positive story but to experience both sides of the coin — a recognize that the last is creating space and opening possibility.
You, like most over 40 men, may be need of a Purpose & Vision Reboot. A new compelling vision for life that calls you passionately forward.
I’m not talking about polishing up the old “dream life” story from 20 years ago — making it look new again. Nor is this about a short term goal, an upcoming vacation or losing the next 4 pounds.
I am talking stoking your fire for life with a true purpose driven missing that fits the man you are today. To embrace the opportunity to actually hear and answer the true calling of your life. This is the responsibility of the awakened man to stop ignoring the voice calling you to your true purpose.
In my book, The OWNERS MANual to Your 40’s – Step #6 of the 12 Life Hacks for living life at full strength after 40 is, Get Purpose.
Get Purpose calls you — having let go of yesterday’s regrets — to craft a vision, aligned with your unique purpose that serves your most authentic self, today.
You, I, we all have a calling. When you align life with it, life begins to bend in your favor. It’s as if a magic force is on your side.
Here’s what I can assure you: You’re calling, your purpose, your best life may be waiting just outside your vision. It may linger right around the corner until the day you pass but it ain’t gonna find you.
You’ve got to wake up your future, ignite your fire, get your mojo back and answer the bell. You must.
If not now, when?
What’s the right path for you?
I can’t say for sure. Maybe The Owners MANual to Full Strength Over 40 is a gateway for you as it has been for many men. Perhaps it’s the catalyst you needed to start you on the path — or more.
What I can assure you is the biggest risk isn’t whether The Owners MANual awakens you to your greatest life but how long you’re willing to linger, waiting for the right answer to show up. Now that’s a risk that you can bank on.
While your true purpose awaits you, it reveals itself only to those who do the work, listen closely, and seize the moment.
The rules haven’t changed since you were 20, just your belief in yourself that has. Take the plethora of strengths and considerable advantageous you have today and let’s get to rocking a future more brilliant than your past.
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